Plastination Protocol

Room Temperature Process of Formalin Fixed tissues for Research

How is the room temperature process of plastination?

  1.    Each Tissue specimen is fixed using formalin and Xylene (embalming fluid).
  2.    The specimen is then cleaned of lipids and excess material by washing the specimen in cool running water for one to three days, depending on the size of the tissue or biopsy.

  3.    The specimen is then dehydrated by placing the specimen in acetone. You must make sure the specimen is completely submerged. Depending on the size and weight of the specimen, it may take up to three acetone baths (using new acetone) to complete step three. Your specimen should have one percent (1%) or less of water content to be completely dehydrated.

  4.    The completely submerged Tissue and the dehydrated specimen into a polymer/cross-linker bath and leave it in the mixture for one 24-hour day to get accustomed to the bath. Then place the specimen into a vacuum chamber. Once you achieve total vacuum pressure, the acetone is exchanged with polymer (you can witness this by the bubbling action in the vacuum). Once the bubbling stops, the exchange from acetone to polymer/cross-linker is complete.
  5.      The final step is to remove the tissue from the polymer/cross-linker bath and let drain. Wipe excess polymer/cross-linker from the specimen using paper towels. Then apply a thin coating of catalyst on your specimen and let cure. Once the specimen has cured, it will last many, many years.